91-year-old immigrant from Poland, Paul Monchnik, lived his adult years in Detroit. He survived combat in World War II and was an active member of society for all those years. He is now dead.
Paul Monchnik came to the USA as an immigrant at eight years of age. He attended school in Detroit, then he went to World War II. He was in the Army; he made it through the war. Unfortunately Monchnik didn’t survive the attack on his person and property when a 17 year-old teenager visited him in 2015.
91-year-old Paul died in a horrific burglary attack that was shocking to people. Police discovered his body in his home early morning when police and fire personnel responded to a fire at the home.
The body, which was found near the front door of the living room area, had been covered with gasoline and set on fire. Teenager, George Steward, who lived with his grandfather next door to Monchnik, had entered the latter’s home, beat him, and set him on fire.
Paul had burns on about eighty percent of his body, and there was about one-fifth cup of gasoline found in his stomach. He also had a skull fracture, three cutting injuries on the back of his left hand and two broken ribs on the left side of his body.
The horrific murder Paul’s distraught son, Scott Monchnik, 56. Just after the murder, he asked for the public’s help to track down the suspect and help ‘get this scum off the streets’.
The sight of his childhood home consumed in flames and the blood soaked floor where his dad had been beaten Scott Monchnik described as “a scene from hell”,
This image, as well as the “terrible sickening feeling I get thinking that my dad’s last hour on Earth was filled with horror and pain,” left Scott and his family “traumatized”.
Weeks later, the Detroit police announced charges against 17-year-old George Steward of Detroit. Police believe Steward used the fuel to try and cover his tracks.
Thankfully, it didn’t work out as well as he planned. Steward was found and arrested by local authorities and jailed.He was charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and Arson.
A motive for the crime was not immediately clear.“This man (Steward) has created a hole in all of us that is filled with anger and hatred, fear and loss,” Scott Monchnik said.
“You have taken something that was not yours to take.” Since he was young, Paul Monchnik called Detroit home and prided himself in knowing his city inside and out, family said.
He was a self-employed television repairman for over 50 years and worked throughout his life to provide for his family, including a wife who died seven years ago, three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Even though he was in his 90s, Paul Monchnik continued to take care of himself, keeping groomed and well-fed, reading his newspaper to keep up with current events, said his son.
“He was kind and open-minded… He had no prejudice, he had no malice and he was a kind-hearted man. He worked very, very hard to support his wife and his family and he wanted to live to be 100 and this kid cut that short”, Scott Monchnik said:
”And that’s one of the hardest parts. He didn’t get to pass away quietly in his sleep as an old man,” he continued. Almost a year after the murder, George Steward IV, 18, was sentenced.
The Monchnik family said they felt a sense of relief when Wayne Circuit Judge Michael Callahan sentenced George Steward IV, the man convicted in the brutal murder, to 30-60 years in prison.
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